Fire Warrior Coverart

Shas'La T'au Kais hunting his prey on the blasted world of Dolumar IV

Shas'la T'au Kais, better known by the short form of his name, La'Kais, was a young and inexperienced Tau Fire Warrior who played a significant role in the rescue of the Ethereal Aun'el Ko'vash from Imperial forces and the defeat of the Chaos-corrupted Imperial Governor Meyloch Severus of Dolumar IV.


Kais is the son of the renowned Shas'o T'au Shi'ur, Commander of the Fifth Ten-Cadre. Shi'ur was quite distant, eventually leading Kais to resent that he would never be worthy in his father's eyes. Shi'ur was ultimately killed by Tyranids while defending a Tau world.

Shas'la T'au Kais' first mission was an attempt to rescue the Tau Ethereal Aun'el Ko'vash from the corrupt Imperial Planetary Governor Meyloch Severus on the Imperial Desert World of Dolumar IV. Kais infiltrated Severus' prison-fortress and escaped with Ko'vash intact. As the Tau Orca dropship carrying La'Kais and Ko'vash began docking with a Tau Emissary-class Cruiser, it was attacked by an Imperial Battleship, and Space Marine boarding pods were launched. Kais then fought a desperate battle against a force of Imperial Storm Troopers and Space Marines of the Raptors Chapter as they tried to disable the Tau Cruiser's engines and assassinate the Tau Captain commanding the vessel. After Kais rescued the Captain, he and several teams of Fire Warriors were launched by Tau boarding pod at the Imperial vessel. There, Kais disabled the ship's guns and nearly captured the Imperial vessel's commanding flag officer, Admiral Constantine. Kais was clubbed on the head by Captain Ardias of the 3rd Company of the Ultramarines before he could take the Admiral, however, and was captured.

Ardias brokered a truce between the Imperium and the Tau, and it was revealed that Governor Severus had been seduced by the Ruinous Powers of Chaos, through the machinations of the Lord of Change named Tarkh'ax, and had teleported a contingent of Word Bearers Chaos Space Marines onto the Imperial ship. The Traitor Marines captured the ship's remaining guns in an attempt to re-start the conflict between the Imperium and the Tau Empire, but were stopped by Kais' destruction of the guns. Ardias then set the ship to self-destruct, and Kais escaped from the starship to the Desert World below via a massive Drop Pod intended to carry a Space Marine Dreadnought into combat. Landing in the midst of a ruined Imperial city, Kais fought his way towards a contingent of his fellow Tau Fire Warriors, and learned from Ardias that Severus planned to use an Imperial Titan held in the city against the forces that oppose him. Kais destroyed the Titan, entered Severus' fortress, and killed Severus and ultimately his daemonic master Tarkh'ax after the Greater Daemon possessed Severus' body so that he can fully enter realspace. Captain Ardias then ordered that Dolumar IV should be destroyed by Exterminatus to prevent the taint of Chaos from spreading. Kais ended up in a Tau mental hospital suffering from an extremely severe case of post-traumatic stress disorder, though it seemed possible that he might recover. His ultimate fate remains unknown.


During the events of Fire Warrior Kais is shown a conflicted character, with issues stemming from being unable to impress his father who was a prominent military leader. Kais is fervent believer in the Greater Good, but often mentally questions the rigid structure of the Tau military. In remembrance, he carries a small display wafer that he received from his father that shows a small litany.

Within the Tau Command, he is recognized as a "broken component" of the Tau machine, a fact he is all too aware of. Despite this, his commander El'Lusha (who knew Kais's father), recognizes Kais's skill and sends him forth on missions.

During his time on Dolumar IV, Kais becomes disturbed by the fighting and killing of imperials and begins to fear losing his identity to demons (referred to as "mont'au" in Tau culture). After killing a small platoon of Space Marines, he begins to embrace his new found skills and begins to turn the resentment toward his father into the desire to surpass his father.

Canon Conflict

The commander of the Tau strike force in Dawn of War - Dark Crusade is named Shas'O Kais. It was once unknown if this Kais was the same as the famed Tau Commander of the same name. "Kais", which means "skillful" in the Tau Lexicon, is a common name in Tau society (for instance, O'Shovah's full name is "Shas'O Vior'la Shovah Kais Montyr"), and at the end of the Fire Warrior novelisation, Kais was shown to be mentally broken by his experiences fighting the Forces of Chaos and would be unfit for battle, though Tau medics indicated he would probably recover his mental balance. Conclusive evidence can be found in the Fire Warrior novelisation's referral to the Damocles Gulf Crusade having taken place two hundred standard years prior to the events of the story. Shas'O Kais had been a student of Commander Puretide before the start of that Imperial Crusade against Tau expansion. Thus, it is highly unlikely that Shas'la T'au Kais is the same person as Shas'O Kais due to this discrepancy in the dates.


  • Warhammer 40,000: Fire Warrior (Game)
  • Fire Warrior (Novel) by Simon Spurrier
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